55 The Profession Has Spoken ... But Will the CCE Listen?
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Dynamic Chiropractic – December 2, 2010, Vol. 28, Issue 25

The Profession Has Spoken ... But Will the CCE Listen?

By James Edwards, DC

A few months back, the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) sent out a communique to interested parties asking for commentary about proposed changes it intends to adopt at its January 2011 meeting.

As outlined in my prior article ["What Is the CCE Trying to Pull?" Oct. 21 DC], the CCE proposed the following changes to its standards: adding the words "or their equivalent" to Doctor of Chiropractic degree programs, thusauthorizing the "Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine" (DCM) degree; deleting every reference to the word subluxation; and deleting the "without the use of drugs and surgery" provision.

I am very pleased to report that the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), the International Chiropractors Association (ICA), and the Congress of Chiropractic State Associations (COCSA) all officially opposed the proposed changes and submitted commentary to that effect. As a student of chiropractic history, I cannot remember another time that the chiropractic profession as a whole was unified on such an important issue.

And that's not all. Several chiropractic colleges (who rely on CCE for their accreditation) also submitted commentary in opposition to the changes, including Cleveland Chiropractic College (Kansas City and Los Angeles), Life University College of Chiropractic, Life Chiropractic College West, Logan College of Chiropractic, Palmer College of Chiropractic (including Palmer Florida and Palmer West), Parker College of Chiropractic and Sherman College of Chiropractic. To be candid, my hat goes off to these chiropractic colleges for having the courage to speak up against proposed changes that they felt were not in the best interest of the chiropractic profession.

But when trying to chart the best course for the chiropractic profession, the real future stakeholders are the current students of chiropractic colleges. While some might think that there is no way to measure their opinions and for their representative voice to be heard in regard to these important issues, they would be wrong.

At the annual meeting of the Student American Chiropractic Association (SACA) held in Newport, R.I., in early October, and without any preamble, a survey was taken of the SACA leaders representing 16 chiropractic colleges from across the country. Here are the results from that survey in regard to CCE's proposed changes:

  • Removal of all references to the word subluxation: Agree: 6 SACA leaders; disagree: 32 SACA leaders.
  • Removal of the reference to "without the use of drugs and surgery": Agree: 9 SACA leaders; disagree: 28 SACA leaders.
  • Authorization for the Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine (DCM) degree: Agree: 1 SACA leader; disagree: 38 SACA leaders.

For those of you keeping score at home, SACA leaders opposed the three CCE proposed changes by an overall tally of 86 percent to 14 percent -- a landslide of incredible proportions. And it's important to remember that these individuals are elected ACA student leaders, not members of some chiropractic fringe group. Personally, the survey results make me proud - and excited - that the next generation of chiropractic leaders will be willing to protect and defend the core principles of the chiropractic profession.

So, what happens next? Well, the deadline has passed for official commentary to the CCE. However, rest assured, the 24 CCE "councilors" who are charged with making the final decision will be lobbied intensively by their pro-drug, pro-DCM degree, anti-subluxation friends and colleagues.

To hopefully counter that effort and so the profession's majority voice is not drowned out, I believe it would it would be beneficial for doctors in the field to contact CCE "councilors" you know personally, telling them that you oppose the proposed changes to the CCE standards and urging them to oppose their adoption. To assist in that effort, I've provided the names of the 24 CCE "councilors" below:

  • David J. Wickes, DC: Council Chair; Executive Vice President/Provost, University of Western States
  • Craig S. Little, DC: Council Development Committee Chair; Private Practitioner, Hanford, Calif.
  • Lawrence M. Gerstein, DC: Council Finance Committee Chair; Private Practitioner, Washington, Mo.
  • Joseph E. Pfeifer, DC: Council Site Team Academy Committee Chair; Vice President of Clinics, University of Western States
  • Charles E. Sawyer, DC: Council Bylaws, Standards and Policy Committee Chair; Senior Vice President, Northwestern University of Health Sciences
  • Roger A. Pope, DC: Councilor At Large; Private Practitioner, Belvidere, Ill.
  • Glenn A. Bub, DC: Councilor; Chief of Staff, Health Center, Logan College of Chiropractic
  • Barbara J. Byrne, PhD: Councilor; Public Member, Philadelphia, Pa.
  • Joseph Ferguson, III, MS, DC: Councilor; Dean, Life Chiropractic College West
  • Kathleen M. Galligan, DC: Councilor; Private Practitioner, Lake Oswego, Ore.
  • Marc M. Gamerman, DC: Councilor; Private Practitioner, Hagerstown, Md.
  • Rudolph S. Jackson, Dr. PH: Councilor; Public Member, Decatur, Ga.
  • Clyde B. Jensen, PhD: Councilor; Public Member, Portland, Ore.
  • Dale F. Johnson, PhD: Councilor; Director of Research, Life Chiropractic College West
  • Karen K. Konarski-Hart, DC: Councilor; Private Practitioner, Little Rock, Ark.
  • J. Clay McDonald, DC, JD: Councilor; Senior Vice President and Provost, Texas Chiropractic College
  • Michael R. Moran, JD, CFE: Councilor; Public Member, Gahanna, Ohio
  • Anthony Onorato, DC, MBA: Councilor; Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, University of Bridgeport College of Chiropractic
  • John C. Pammer, DC: Councilor; Private Practitioner, North Catasauqua, Pa.
  • John P. Pecchia, MBA, CPA: Councilor; VP for Financial Affairs, D'Youville College
  • Robert E. Percuoco, DC: Councilor; Vice Chancellor for Academics, Palmer College of Chiropractic
  • Guy F. Riekeman, DC: Councilor; President, Life University
  • John G. Scaringe, DC, PhD: Councilor; President, Southern California University of Health Sciences
  • Sharon B. Ufberg, DC: Councilor; Private Practitioner, Beth Israel Medical Center, N.Y.

One thing is clear: CCE solicited the opinions of the chiropractic profession and the opposition message has been delivered loudly and clearly by national organizations, chiropractic colleges, chiropractic students and "rank and file" doctors of chiropractic. Now, let's hope CCE will listen to the voices of the overwhelming majority of the profession and reject the proposed changes to the standards because with all due respect, the chiropractic profession does not belong to the CCE ... it belongs to us! Stay tuned.

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